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Throwback Thursday: The Many Alternatives to White Pasta

laura-cipullo-mac-and-cheese

Photo by NYMetroParents.com

By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD

Did you know there’s more to pasta than just white? Pasta comes in so many different types of varieties these days, allowing us to expand our flavor horizons. There’s wheat-free soybean; Shirataki (an Asian pasta made from the root of the Amorphophallus Konjac plant); brown rice pasta; and buckwheat soba, a gluten-free Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour — just to name a few.

Whole wheat pasta has also become a popular alternative, and one that is easily found in your local supermarket. I have a great recipe on Mom Dishes It Out that showcases whole wheat pasta — Whole Wheat Pasta Primavera. The whole wheat adds fiber and complex carbs, and this dish also has peas, zucchini, and peppers as an easy way to increase your veggies. It’s a meal that is full of flavor, doesn’t take all that long to make, and serves four. It’s the ideal dish for a home-cooked Mother’s Day celebration, and a crowd-pleaser for vegetarian friends.

Whole Wheat Pasta Primavera

A delicious dinner made for Mother’s Day..for you or by you…need not be heavy!  Ease up on animal protein with this light and healthy, whole wheat pasta primavera dish! Add seasonal produce like cherry tomatoes, and herbs to naturally flavor this homemade meal.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips

1 cup frozen peas

1 zucchini, cut into quarters

1 onion,  sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

3 tbsp olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound whole wheat farfalle (bowtie pasta)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Method

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with heavy duty foil. In a large bowl, toss all of the vegetables with oil, salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Transfer the veggie mixture to the baking sheet in an even layer. Bake until veggies are cooked and tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, tender but still firm about 8-9 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside 1/2 cup of the liquid.

In a serving bowl, toss the pasta with the veggie mixture. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

For another spin on whole wheat pasta, try my vegan mac and cheese recipe with whole wheat elbows, voted one of the best vegan mac and cheese recipes by NY Metro Parent.

You can also make “pasta” out of the vegetable spaghetti squash. I have two recipes you can try featuring this food on Mom Dishes It Out: Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Basil and Garlic Shrimp with Spaghetti Squash and Spinach.

Try one or all of these fun alternatives to white pasta.  And report back on Twitter or Facebook if you enjoyed!